Local News

Hurricane Matthew victims struggle to stay in hotels

Posted February 3, 2017 11:20 p.m. EST
Updated February 3, 2017 11:27 p.m. EST

Months after Hurricane Matthew, victims staying in a Fayetteville hotel said they were told they need to leave.

Flood victim Tameka Robinson's whole life is in the back seat of her car, including her 4-year-old daughter Josephine.

“She’s a trooper,” Robinson said. “She is strong. She has been hanging in there.”

Hurricane Matthew washed them from their home, and since then, they have lived in a hotel paid for by FEMA funds. Friday morning, Robinson said she received a call from hotel management.

“They said, ‘You have to go. There is nothing we can do. We already sent someone to your room, and they are packing your things up. You have got to go now,” she said. “Very hard to hear.”

Robinson said other Hurricane victims were told the same thing.

Mike Wade, a spokesperson for FEMA, said FEMA provides money, but it's up to hurricane victims to make room reservations and keep them current.

“Apparently the hotel was overbooked,” he said.

While reservations may have run out at this hotel, Wade said storm victims receiving assistance can book another room somewhere else.

“Each family is provided a website with a list of participating hotels,” he said.

That's what Robinson did, at least for the night. But her sheltering assistance will soon run out. She has filed an appeal to keep it and does not know when she will hear back.

“You don’t know where, what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Robinson said.

The Robinsons were ultimately able to find another hotel room. But long term, like many flood victims, the future is unclear.

WRAL reached out to the hotel for a comment and has not heard back.